Coffee table showcases student skills and craftmanship

Posted on in Senior School

Three Materials and Design students at St Mary’s College have combined their talents to create a beautiful and functional piece of furniture for the College Reception space that will be used and enjoyed for many years to come.

Year 10 students, Danielle Heaton, Kate Holloway and Temwa Makalani collaborated on the project, which involved designing and building a wood coffee table to replace the existing table which was deemed too small and no longer fit for use.

Earlier in the year the students met with College Receptionist, Traci-Jean Berresford to discuss the inspiration for the new table and how its design could incorporate both style and functionality.

The students returned to the College’s Design in Wood Centre to get their creative juices flowing.

After brainstorming ideas, they put pen to paper to produce some initial plans and 3D drawings of their proposed designs.

Once they received the ‘green light’ from Reception staff, students prepared a paper pattern of the top of the table which they took to the office for a ‘fitting’.

The design brief called for a dark coloured Tasmanian timber and Myrtle was chosen to fit this requirement, with Materials and Design staff sourcing the boards from Geeveston.

The boards had been kiln-dried for three months after being air dried for 12 years, so they were certainly ready to be used for this project!

The students graded the boards for colour and grain, choosing the best for the top (which features an elliptical shape), with the rest used for the legs and shelf.

The ellipse was marked out and the top cut using a band saw, and the College crest was engraved on the surface. The students’ names were added to the underside of the top.

Following some final sanding and adjustments, the completed table was coated with an acrylic lacquer, before it was set in place in its new home, where it looks terrific!

Congratulations to the students involved for creating such a professional and high quality piece of furniture and for managing nearly all operations of the project with staff guidance.


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St Mary's College is located on the traditional lands of the muwinina people of the South East Nation. We acknowledge and deeply respect the palawa people, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community, and all Elders past and present. We are committed to learning alongside our students and community in this place, nipaluna, and support the continued sharing of knowledge and culture.